The American specialty jewelry industry remains the domain of the small independent retail merchant, according to newly released data from the Census Bureau’s Economic Census (the Census).
More than 96 percent of all specialty jewelry firms – which operate more than two-thirds of the industry’s stores – are single-store operations. While many retail segments have undergone significant consolidation, most specialty jewelers – and many other American retail merchants – are still small independent single-store operations.
Specialty jewelry stores’ annual sales are typically just over $1 million annually, and operate with just five or six employees. Most of these merchants operate just one store. The top four specialty jewelers in America generate just under 25 percent of the segment’s sales; in contrast, the top four retailers in some other retail segments generate 90 percent or more of the segment’s sales. In addition, specialty jewelry sales represent about half of total jewelry sales in the U.S. market.
Using The Data
How can a specialty jewelry retailer use the data from the Census? For example, a specialty jewelry retailer may wonder if they have too few or too many employees in their store. Economic Census data suggests that the typical specialty jeweler has about 5.6 employees in their store, based on per-store sales of $1.1 million. The average pay for each of those employees is about $26,800 per year. The typical specialty jewelry employee generates annual sales of about $188,000. Thus, a specialty jewelry storeowner can compare their store’s performance with industry averages.